Because we're moving this summer, I've been interviewing for jobs like crazy lately. Over my spring break, I had, I kid you not, 7 interviews in 3 days. I've also had 2 formal phone interviews, which are just as stressful as in-person interviews, or maybe more so, because phone interviews remove the body language and facial expression cues that can sometimes help set everyone more at ease.
Anyway, I was recently telling my graduate student intern about my interviews, and it occurred to me that maybe other grad students and job-seeking SLPs might be interested in the types of questions typically asked during job interviews. I actually wrote down the questions I could remember just after each interview during my "7 interviews in 3 days" marathon, so I could share them with my intern. (Yup, I'm nerdy in so many ways, even job interviewing!)
So, here are the questions I could remember from all my interviews, combined. I've grouped them into overall categories because the disorganized list I first jotted down seemed too confusing. Of course, I'm a pediatric SLP, so most of these questions apply to interviews with pediatric providers, but they might help you prepare in general for other interviews, as well.
1. How do you keep up with due dates and important to-do items?
2. How do you organize therapy data and session notes?
3. How do you stay organized?
4. How do you keep data during a therapy session with a busy client?
1. What's your philosophy for serving preschool students for speech/language?
2. What model do you use to serve students currently? (pull out, push in, inclusion, collaborative, coteaching, consultation?)
3. What model do you use to serve students with autism?
4. What program/model do you use to serve students with articulation/phonology disorders?
5. How would you approach serving children with multiple special needs in a self-contained classroom setting?
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
2. Tell me about your current work setting.
3. What social skills resources do you use for children with autism spectrum disorders?
4. Tell me about the most difficult client you've ever had and how you worked through it.
5. Tell me about the hardest therapy session you've ever had and how you made it work.
6. What experience do you have with children with __(whatever disorder the site specializes in serving)__________?
7. What AAC/Assistive Technology experience do you have?
8. How do you involve parents and teachers in treatment?
9. Tell me what you do in your current job.
1. What are your strengths?
2. What are your weaknesses, and how do you overcome them?
3. What prompted you to want a career in speech language pathology?
1. What are you looking for in a job?
2. Describe your perfect/dream job.
3. What's most important to you in your job hunt?
4. What are your favorite settings/special populations to work with?
5. What age group do you most enjoy working with?
1. What continuing education courses have you taken in the past 2 years?
2. Are you certified in any therapy program such as Hanen, Floortime, ABA, Lindamood Bell, etc?
3. Do you regularly attend ASHA, and which courses do you typically go to?
4. Tell me what you think the current events/issues are in speech-language pathology.
5. How do you usually come up with goals/objectives for clients?
6. Describe the steps you'd take to conduct an evaluation (both quantitative and qualitative).
7. What do you see as your role in the Response to Intervention (RTI) process in a school system?
8. How would you keep your caseload manageable?
9. What do you see as your role in regard to reading/writing skills for elementary school students?
10. What strategies do you use regularly for children with _______ (autism, social skills deficits, Down Syndrome, apraxia, feeding disorders, etc.)?
Also, I think it's smart to have a list of a few questions you are going to ask your interviewers, so you don't feel put on the spot when they ask you whether you have any questions. Some basic ideas are:
1. What's the typical caseload?
2. What are the typical hours?
3. What paperwork/documentation am I typically expected to complete on a regular basis?
4. What types of support for continuing education do you offer?
I think that preparing my responses to possible questions ahead of time, and actually saying them out loud to myself or someone else, really helps me reduce my stress level during actual interviews. I hope this is helpful to other new or job-hunting SLPs, as well!
Are there any questions I've left out? Please leave a comment to add to my list if you think of anything a new graduate or job-seeking SLP might need to consider during their job search.